Hello lovely people. The Seamstress Tag (originated by Hollie Sews) has been popping up all over the place. I’ve suddenly found myself up through the night looking over my Pixie Princess as she recovers from illness; writing this is helping while away the dark hours. It’s just 12 questions so hopefully I won’t have time to bore you. Or more likely I will! But, c’mon, keep me company until daylight breaks. Oh and if you read this to the end, consider yourself tagged 😉
Who are you? I’m Sarah Smith, no surprises there hey? I’m a mother, sister, daughter, wife and friend. Political Science graduate. Chronic overthinker. I’ll eat mayonnaise with practically anything; partial to a glass of wine and a good book. Don’t speak to me before I’ve had my second coffee of the day. Oh and I’m rather fond of sewing. And by ‘rather fond’ I mean downright obsessed.
When and why did you start sewing? When? I got my sewing machine about three years ago. Why? I’d thought about sewing for years; a little thought that bubbled up now and again only to disappear as Life Happened. I spent years working and studying in London, moved from London to Devon, got married and concentrated on raising two children. It’s easy to become subsumed by the needs of your kids but for us it was exacerbated by additional issues which created an almost endless roll of appointments and evaluations. The stress definitely took its toll. (Apart from the odd hiccup, they’re both doing great!). When my husband asked what I wanted for my birthday that pivotal year, the words ‘sewing machine’ almost popped out my mouth unheeded. I remember being momentarily surprised not only by my response but at the conviction behind the words. The sewing machine was duly ordered and the rest, as they say, is history. In short, the why is that through sewing I’ve re-discovered an essential creative part of myself which allows me to claw back all-important sanity-saving ‘me time’; it’s my meditation, my therapy. That and, y’know, the fact that I get to make and wear custom-fit individual garments!
What is your favourite or proudest make? Generally the last successful one! I was very very happy with my Winslow Culottes by Helen’s Closet and Carolyn Pajamas from Closet Case Files; my favourite patterns to date.
What is your most disastrous make? Hahaha this is easy! It was the first garment I ever attempted to make for myself; New Look 6298 I knew practically nothing about sewing and I’ve no idea what made me pick this particular pattern (although I’ve kept it!) It required a stable knit. I used lightweight jersey. There’s about 13,736,241″ of ease built in to this pattern. Seriously, you could camp a family of five in there. And I botched up the V neckline. But it didn’t put me off. Not. At. All…an obsession was borne!
Bored yet?! It’s still dark outside so I’m carrying on!
Where is your favourite place to go fabric shopping? I tend to do most of my fabric shopping online; it’s too long a drive to the nearest shop. There’s a few I routinely check when trying to source fabric; Minerva Crafts primarily. Fabricland has generally low prices; great for wearable toiles.
What is your most used pattern? To date it’s New Look 6217 (I’ve written about it here) That said, I’m unlikely to make it again anytime soon – I’ve made 6! A few others are vying to be serious contenders! I’m looking for patterns that I can make multiples of as I’m wanting to build a wardrobe of everyday interchangeable staples at the moment. Suggestions for patterns of the same, greatfully received.
Your most dreaded sewing task is? Overlocking/serging around tightish curves. Who needs extreme sports when you’ve got that kind of adrenaline rush going on?! I think I know I’m meant to pinch out the curve and sew it in a straight line but yeah I need more practice to stop me breaking out into a sweat at that point; if you’ve any good tips, let me know!!!!
And your favourite sewing task? Anything that makes me feel like a Boss in doing it; with invisible / lapped zips and buttonholes being recent wins. I also like sewing long seams, it’s hypnotic. Wow I’m such fun!
What is your favourite sewing entertainment? I don’t know about favourite but typically it’s just listening to the inane chirping of my own brain; latest example…I was fishing around on my magnetic pin holder trying to find a needle amongst the pins; there’s always two in there. My brain pops up with: I wonder how much time I waste trying to find this needle every time I sew? Should I apply nail polish to the end of it to make it more visible? How long would it take me to do this and let it dry? Is it worth investing this time now for future time saved? How much time have I spent thinking about this already? Do I need to offset this thinking time against time potentially saved in order to accurately evaluate the worthiness of this idea? ..ad infinitum. Welcome to my world. I do occasionally listen to podcasts when I’m tracing and cutting out because that’s too quiet and way too much thinking could happen. I’d appreciate some recommendations; they don’t have to be sewing related!
Printed or PDF? Both. I’m a new PDF convert. Why limit yourself?!
What sewing machine do you use? I use the Janome S52s – it’s a great starter machine with enough key features to see you through to the intermediate stage, I reckon. I like the idea of some computerised models but I worry the more flashy the model the more there is to go wrong. In fact, I quite like the idea of getting a really old Singer – the kind your Nana used to have; I hear they’re great for working with thick denim and the like. I’ll stick with my Janome baby for now.
Any other hobbies?
This is my bookshelf. If I’m interested in something I’ll generally reach for a book on the subject and I love a great novel. This year I’ve reached for non-fiction books from subjects as diverse as Tudor History to a biography on Elvis Presley; the novels of Patrick Hamilton and I was massively entertained by the ‘Robert Galbraith’s’ Cormoran Strike series. I just feel comforted having a book in the go. I used to draw and paint a lot; portraits mostly but my talent was middling. I had definite skill; I can copy others work, or work from photographs, but I couldn’t find my own ‘voice’. My Sister-in-Law is a great artist and there’s a big difference. However I also dallied with the idea of being a makeup artist for a while; I obviously just love faces! Not so much my own, admittedly!
I know it doesn’t sound like it, but I do venture outside! I’ve always loved horses and go riding when I can; I lived at the stables when I was younger but don’t go nearly as often as I’d like now. I’m trying to get the kids interested so I’d go more often…but so far they’re not obliging! And I like to go on long walks, and lay in bed on a morning and….sleep.
So, if I’m not running around after the kids or sewing, you will find me with my nose stuck in a book and, preferably, a nice glass of wine in my hand. Or, y’know, here on Instagram!
Thanks for bearing with me…it’s still dark out but one more coffee should see in daybreak. Oh, and remember, you’re tagged!
Until next time,